How Controversy Can Help You Attract Inbound Links

by HubSpot on May 10, 2012
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Written by Maggie Georgieva

SEO is one of the key ways to get visibility for your website and brand.

According to a study by The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web. So how do you get your business to rank in search engines organically?

inbound links

Through link building, of course! As previously established, inbound links play a big role in optimizing your online presence for organic search.

The more links you have pointing to your site, the more traffic and better rankings you can secure through search engines. Inbound links bring three major benefits to your business:

  • Traffic & Leads
  • Search Engine Rankings (Residual Traffic)
  • Brand Exposure & Awareness

So how do you go about accumulating inbound links?

How to Collect Inbound Links

There is a range of marketing tactics you can leverage to collect inbound links. In HubSpot’s guide, “10-Step Guide to Social Link Building,” we cover ten of these methods that don’t require you to spend a dime on advertising.

Here are our suggestions:

  1. Write Guest Blog Posts
  2. Run Contests
  3. Stir Controversy
  4. Add Your Website/Blog to Directories
  5. Publish Content as Lists
  6. Coin New Terms
  7. Write How-to or Instructional Content
  8. Offer Badges
  9. Leverage Social Networks
  10. Syndicate Your Content

Grab your free copy of the guide to learn what steps you need to take in order to execute on these ten link-building suggestions. In this blog post, we will focus on link-building strategy number three — stirring controversy.

Attracting Links Through Controversial Content

Covering a controversial topic is a great way to attract inbound links and encourage social sharing. Just keep in mind that your topic should incite debate from the inside out, not be provocative just for the sake of it. Create content that starts a debate; don’t merely alienate readers.

A portion of your potential audience will strongly disagree with you, and that’s okay. Still, ensure that you can back up your point of view. A key element here is to find a topic that can reasonably be defended on both sides. Controversy can incite debate if your content tackles a topic of interest to your target audience. So find a topic highly relevant to your audience, take a side, and watch the interest flood in.

A Real-Life Example

content is king

The website SocialTriggers.com published a blog post about how web design is more important that content, challenging the mantra, “content is king.” We know that both elements are important, but picking one over the other gets people thinking, talking, and sharing.

Tips on How to Execute

Now that you recognize the power of covering a controversial issue for link building, where do you get started? How do you identify the topics you should tackle? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Monitor forums for the most discussed topics.
  2. Browse through websites like Digg and Reddit for the most popular articles.
  3. Pay attention to the most common questions from your customers.

Have you covered a controversial topic that resulted in many inbound links and gained you visibility? Share it in the comments section!

(And don’t forget to download your free copy of HubSpot’s “10-Step Guide to Social Link Building.”)

Image source: Bigstock break the piggy bank

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HubSpot makes all-in-one inbound marketing software that gives you all the tools you need to make marketing that people love, and generate quality leads and loyal customers for your business....